Arrival

"Extraordinary"

Arrival Review


This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with the weight of its themes. It may be fiction, but the film's exploration of the power of language raises fascinating ideas about the human mind. It's also produced to an extremely high standard, with striking effects and sumptuous cinematography and editing. And as played by Amy Adams, the movie also carries a surprising emotional kick.

Adams plays linguistics expert Louise, who is asked by the American government to help decode the language of aliens who occupy gigantic monolithic ships that appear suddenly, floating over various locations around the globe. So she heads to the American site in Montana and begins working with scientist Ian (Jeremy Renner) under the watchful eye of Colonel Weber (Forrest Whitaker). And of course she's taken aback by these seven-legged creatures who communicate with odd tones and swirling symbols. When coordinated efforts with other teams around the world begin to descend into mistrust, everyone stops sharing their data, and the military leaders decide to take matters into their own hands and destroy the ships. But Louise begins to believe she is onto something important, and she tenaciously pursues a course of action that terrifies everyone, including her.

Expertly directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario), the film never lapses into sensationalistic action, and it's even more gripping as a result. Several scenes generate goosebumps for their inventive visual flourishes, including the surprising gravitational twists and the face-to-face interaction with two freaky but oddly endearing aliens Louise and Ian name Abbott and Costello. Special effects are seamless, grounding everything that happens as something eerily believable. But the emphasis is on the emotional drama surging within Louise, and the huge implications it has for the entire world.

Adams plays all of this with her usual transparency. Louise is a fiercely independent thinker, which makes her more open to the enormity of what she is learning. And travelling through this odyssey with her is simply thrilling for the audience. Without over-explaining the science, Eric Heisserer's script stuns us with its ideas about time and memory, plus a startlingly moving exploration of grief, since Louise's experience becomes entangled with the recent death of her teen daughter. This is a rare movie that wows the audience with both visual spectacle and deeply moving drama, all while forcing us to ponder ideas that almost make our heads hurt. It's a stunner of a film that should generate a lot of discussion for a long time.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Arrival:



Arrival

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th November 2016

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: FilmNation Entertainment

Production compaines: 21 Laps Entertainment, Lava Bear Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , Karen Lunder, Aaron Ryder

Starring: as Dr. Louise Banks, as Ian Donnelly, as Colonel Weber, as Agent Halpern, as General Shang, Mark O'Brien as Captain Marks, Russell Yuen as Chinese Scientist, Nathaly Thibault as Gala Guest, Joe Cobden as Cryptographer #1, Julian Casey as Australian Scientist, Pat Kiely as Environmental Tech, Larry Day as Deputy Director of the CIA Dan Ryder, Mustafa Haidari as Foreign Correspondent, Abigail Pniowsky as Hannah (8 yrs. old), Julia Scarlett Dan as Hannah (12 yrs. old), Philippe Hartmann as Halpern's Deputy Director, Andrew Shaver as Environmental Tech, Carmela Nozza Guizzo as Hannah (4 yrs. old), Anana Rydvald as Danish Scientist, Jadyn Malone as Hannah, Bineyam Girma as Sudanese representative, Shawn Campbell as News Reporter, Ruth Chiang as Chinese Scientist, Leisa Reid as Nurse, Brittany Teo as Student with Smartphone, Chistian Jadah as Private Combs, Genevieve Sirois as Cryptographer #3, Tammie Sutherland as Newscaster 4, Daniel Esteban as Venezuelan Representative, Kathleen Stavert as Communications Operator #4, Hal Roberts as American TV News Anchor, Leslie Baker as Middle aged woman, Michael Nangreaves as Science Team Member #2, Karen Belfo as Skype CIA Agent (uncredited), Chloë Bellande as MIT College girl (uncredited), Robert D. Morais as Master Sergeant Douglas (uncredited), Laurean Adrian Parau as US Army Major (uncredited)

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


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